DC Defenders (2-0) vs the LA Wildcats (0-2)
Sunday February 23rd, 2020 6 pm EST @ Dignity Health Sports Park
All betting lines, odds and prop bets are available on FanDuel Sportsbook.
Moneyline: DC: (-300) | LAW: (+240)
Spread: DC: -7 (-110) | LAW: +7 (-110)
Total: 45.5 – Over: (-110) I Under: (-110)
Public (Spread) Betting Percentages via oddsFire: DC: (N/A) | LAW: (N/A)
Odds to Win 2020 XFL Championship: DC: (+200) | LAW: (+1400)
The undefeated DC Defenders travel for the first time, taking on the Winless LA Wildcats
The DC Defenders (2-0) are traveling to the West Coast to play the Winston Moss led LA Wildcats (0-2). The Defenders, with the highest scoring and rated defense in the league, will play a Wildcats team led by NFL Veteran Quarterback Josh Johnson, who has practiced for the second consecutive week after being out for the last month with a “thigh” injury.
The Defenders roll into LA following a Week 2 smashing of the New York Guardians, 27-0. The Defenders have proven that they can score in all 3 facets of the game, on defense (2 straight weeks with defensive TD’s), offense (room to improve, but high performing), and Special Teams (week 1 blocked punt TD). The Defenders will look to use their deep running game against a vulnerable LA Wildcats run defense that allowed a big game to DAL RB Cameron Artis-Payne in Week 2. This will open up the play action pass for DC’s extremely deep WR core to challenge a solid Wildcats secondary. The Wildcats secondary will have it’s hands extremely full with Rashad Ross, Eli Rogers, and DeAndre Thompkins. All 3 receivers have the potential to take control of the game.
The Wildcats go into Week 3 with an extremely long injury list, with 14 of their 52 players listed on the roster with injuries. The Wildcats will look to overcome that disadvantage with the most experienced NFL QB in the league, an improving defense, and an pressing hunger for the franchises first win.
It wouldn’t be a real preview without mentioning the multiple Defenders players on DC’s roster with a grudge against the LA Wildcats. Anthony Johnson recently requested his release from LA, following the firing of his Defensive Coordinator after week 1. Johnson was traded to the Defenders and proceeded to make a massive impact on the field against the Guardians with 1.5 sacks and unmistakeable energy. Johnson seemingly does not like Winston Moss on the opposite sideline and will be hunting for some big plays to make his grievances known. Rashad Ross was mysteriously traded to the DC Defenders in Training Camp and has been very outspoken on Twitter about his dislike for the LA Wildcats decision makers and his overall thankfulness to be in the Nations Capital. No matter what, these should be some fun storylines to follow on Sunday.
RB Donnel Pumphrey vs LA Wildcats Run Defense
WR Rashad Ross vs CB Harlan Miller/CB Bradley Sylve
OLB/DE Anthony Johnson vs LA Wildcats Oline
Thursday – DC Defenders
WR Malachi Dupre / Shoulder / Limited
LB A.J. Tarpley / Hand / Full
DT Kalani Vakameilalo / Ankle / Full
LB Scooby Wright / Knee / Full
Thursday – Wildcats
QB Chad Kanoff / Shoulder/Head / DNP
DB Harlan Miller / Thigh / DNP
LB Willie Mays / Neck / DNP
TE Brandon Barnes / Knee / Limited
WR Saeed Blacknall / Thigh / Limited
LB Jerome Couplin / Shoulder / Limited
DB Jaylen Dunlap / Thigh / Limited
RB DuJuan Harris / Ankle / Limited
RB Elijah Hood / Ankle / Limited
QB Josh Johnson / Thigh / Limited
WR Tre McBride / Thigh / Limited
C Kahlil McKenzie / Ankle / Limited
LB Will Smith / Shoulder / Limited
DB Jack Tocho / Hip / Limited
Defenders Players to start:
RB Donnel Pumphrey
WR Rashad Ross
WR DeAndre Thompkins
WR Eli Rogers
QB Cardale Jones
LA Wildcats to start:
WR Jordan Smallwood
RB Larry Rose
This game will be an interesting match up with a clashing of coaching philosophies and competitive players. The DC Defenders will get the opportunity to prove their detractors wrong and succeed on the road. The LA Wildcats will get the opportunity to give their team some much needed momentum moving forward.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Konnor Fulk excelled in the Sports Management Program at Georgia Southern University. He spent several seasons working with the Washington Redskins in fan engagement, strategy, and sales strategy. Additionally, Mr. Fulk continues consulting services across the sport of NASCAR. Konnor has a longstanding obsession with the concept of Spring Football and is looking forward to sharing his expertise and opinions about the XFL relaunch. Connect with Konnor on LinkedIN or give him a follow on Twitter @KonnorFulk_XFL